An indie game by the name of ‘Abstractism’ has been removed from the video game marketplace Steam by Valve Corporation. The decision was taken after it was alleged that the game is hijacking its user’s computers and systems to mine cryptocurrency, as reported by Motherboard on 30th July.
After the detection, both the game and its developers have been banned. Further, to support the accusation, there had been several complaints from users of the game that it had a malware program and a Trojan virus which would get activated when they started the game.
The incidence of illegitimate games on Steam has been on the rise. Valve Corporation removed almost 200 fake games that were launched on Silicon Echo Studios by developers to make a quick profit. These games were developed to take unjust advantage of the trading card system and the Steam Direct program.
Abstractism, the game subjected to recent suspicion was marketed as a relaxing platform for its users. It was SidAlpha, a YouTuber who first noticed and revealed that there was something doubtful about the game. SidAlpha is the same YouTuber who disclosed the Silicon Echo as a “fake” game.
However, the damage that Abstractism’s malware is causing is more harmful than the illicit games that have been launched previously. The investigation revealed that crypto miners were running programs to exploit the users’ systems to mine Monero. Such cryptojacking typically increases the fan speed, CPU and GPU consumption, and the electricity bill of a user. Users also raised doubts when developers of the game encouraged them to keep the game running even when not playing it.
Okalo Union, the game’s developer, responded to such allegations and doubts by saying that “Abstractism does not mine any of cryptocurrency. Probably, you are playing on high graphics settings, because they take a bit of CPU and GPU power, required for post-processing effects rendering.”